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Business Observer Friday, Aug. 31, 2018 2 months ago

Tech talent search gets under way in Tampa Bay

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A new effort is under way to market the emerging leaders of the region's rapidly growing tech sector.

Leaders in the Tampa Bay area’s rapidly growing tech sector seek to put a more human face on the industry. They are starting with Emerging Tech Leaders Tampa Bay. 

Kishen Sridharan. Courtesy photo.

Lauren Davenport, president of Symphony Agency, and Kishen Sridharan, cybersecurity partnership and outreach executive at Raymond James, will lead the new organization, the brainchild of Tampa Bay Tech. 

“When Kishen and I were first approached by Daniel Scott at Tampa Bay Tech about this group, we immediately jumped onboard,” says Davenport. “It’s a missing piece.”

ETL Tampa Bay has launched a website, ETLTampaBay.com, that will feature a different emerging tech leader every week, as well as news about events and projects. The group has three objectives: connect businesses with tech talent; connect individual tech leaders to the broader community; and connect young, potential future leaders with experienced mentors and local companies.

“I try to tell young men and women in the IT profession why it’s a great opportunity to do an internship at Raymond James instead of having that talent run off to Silicon Valley and we never hear from them again,” says Sridharan. “We want them to boomerang right back into our community.”

ETL Tampa Bay also aims to nurture the local economy, adds Davenport.

“If we're able to provide a platform that allows these emerging tech leaders to start gaining some traction," she says, "getting some name recognition within our communities early on, it's going to make all the difference in the type of funding that they're able to attract, which will work for the long-term health of Tampa Bay.”

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